THE Ireland Club XV ran out comfortable winners over Scotland at Temple Hill,the home of Cork Constitution FC, in very wet conditions last night.
Scorers: Ireland Club XV – Tries: D Riordan (2), G Hurley, D Lafery. Cons: D Joyce. Pens: D Joyce (2). Scotland Clubs: Pen: P Jericevich.
The match survived two pitch inspections and was in doubt until given the go-ahead by referee Nick Cockburn half an hour before kick off.
Thankfully, the heavy rain that fell in Cork all day had stopped by kick-off time and, despite difficult handling conditions, both sides did their best to create scoring chances.
Ireland jumped in front after 14 minutes. Full-back Danny Riordan gained possession just outside the ‘22’ and he burst over the line for a fine opening try.
Stand-off David Joyce missed the conversion, but he had success with a penalty in the 18th minute to give the Irish an 8-0 lead.
Riordan then crashed over for his second try when well set up by winger Michael McGrath, with Joyce adding the points to leave Ireland 15-0 in front with less than half an hour on the clock.
The visitors then settled and came into the match, with scrum-half Peter Jericevich landing a penalty to reduce the deficit, but Joyce kicked his second penalty to make it 18-3 at the break.
The home side are managed by former Irish senior internationals Tom Tierney and Mick O’Driscoll, with the team selected from nine different clubs in the All Ireland League. They were hoping to complete a clean sweep of victories over the Scots, after the senior mens, womens and U20s all defeated Scotish sides last weekend.
Stirling County No 8 Jamie Swanson left the action just on half-time with a knee injury and he was replaced by Andrew Redmayne for the second half. But it was the home supporters who gave the biggest cheer of the night for captain Gerry Hurley, who scored Ireland’s third try in the 50th minute.
They scored a fourth in the 73rd minute when substitute Declan Lavery went over in the corner to give Ireland a big victory and set them up for a clash with England in two weeks time.
Ireland Club XV: D Riordan; C Aherne, S Morrow, M Roche, M McGrath; D Joyce, G Hurley (capt); C McMahon, T Moran, C Condon; D Moore, F Walsh; W Earle, C Butterworth, W Ryan. Subs; A O’Driscoll, I Hirst and D Lavery for McMahon, T Moran and C Condon (all 53), S Walsh, J Ryan, N Cronin, B Daly and R McMaster (all used in second half).
Scotland Clubs: N Godsmark; E Oag, C Auld, D Kelbrick, C Gossman; R Mill, P Jericevich; G Hunter, F Scott, N Cox; M Douglas, C Templeton; A Nagle, W Bordill, J Swanson. Subs; A Redmayne for Swanson (in 40), S Cessford, E Scott, R Sutherland, Libson, G Graham, G Cottrell, S Edwards (all used during second half).